Mark Tomlinson

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Core Wars...

AMD/Intel and the CPU wars

Yes, at the moment Intel has managed to final get tehir feet back after 2 years of having AMDs boot prints on their bum. This was not unexpected, they do have a lot more market cap to play with. The problem (for them--this is ALL GOOD for the consumer) is that IBM and AMD are both NOT sitting on their laurels, so to speak. The console wars has given IBM a huge profit jump from their fab shacks (tm) and that is no small peanuts either. AMD on the other hand as been rather quitely changing the game to suit their strength, again. Remember that they bought ATI? Well, that is where the next 'big thing' is coming from in their court. First a GPU is really just a very vast, many pipelined, vector processor. Guess what else needs that kind of juice? Physics engines. So no picture an 8-way die (8 cores, or 16 or 32, etc.) each configurable AFTER BEING CREATED to be one of the following:

a) A *normal* 64-bit CPU.
b) A *normal* 128-bit GPU.
c) A generic 128-bit FPU.
d) A generic 64-bit Physics engine.

Order yours mixed and matched to suit your needs.

Also bear in mind that a lot of the extra bang Intel is geeting for their buck (over the current quad-core AMD processors) is the fact that tey are fabbed in 60 nm and AMD is still on 90 nm dies. That is currently switching with AMD moving helter-skelter to 60 nm fab.

Stand by, it is gonna be a great year for hardware :)